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Monday, March 28, 2005

Flanking the Republican right 

This is a bit of potentially good news for those of us who would prefer to diminish the influence of the rightest of the Republican right wing.
South Carolina’s special status as the “gateway to the South” for Republicans seeking their party’s presidential nomination is under siege.

Seven states have moved up their contests to the first Tuesday in February, threatening South Carolina’s first-in-the-South primary.

“We are being assaulted from all sides,” said state Republican Party chairman Katon Dawson.

South Carolina’s primary has been on a Saturday, 10 days after New Hampshire’s.

States moving up their primaries to the first Tuesday following the New Hampshire contest — which would put them ahead of South Carolina — include Arkansas, Delaware, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

South Carolina is home to perhaps the most conservative Republican party in the country. Since 1980, it has served as Lee Atwater's famous "fire wall" between New Hampshire and the Super Tuesday primaries that effectively decide the nomination. The interposition of South Carolina's primary has, therefore, tended to skew Republican campaigning to the right and endow relatively conservative candidates with critical momentum heading into the multi-state primaries the following week. If candidates now have to appeal to Republicans from six other states (even if four of those states are not obviously more liberal than South Carolina) they may not have to drift so perilously close to South Carolina's extremely conservative activist base. The dilution of South Carolina's influence would both diminish the number of righty sound bites that have to be explained away in the general election and strengthen the Republican center.

1 Comments:

By Blogger 沼泽地, at Wed Dec 17, 04:51:00 AM:

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